Ariel Castro, the Ohio man accused of holding three women captive for about a decade, is competent to stand trial, a judge said at a hearing Wednesday.
Judge Michael Russo said a competency evaluation showed with "reasonable medical certainty" that Castro, 52, is capable of understanding the proceedings and assisting counsel.
"So consistent with the statute where there is presumption of competency and consistent with the report done by our experts which the court is accepting as evidence for purposes of this hearing, the court finds Mr. Castro is competent to proceed in this matter, to assist council and to stand trial," the judge said.
Castro, clad in an orange prison suit, sat in the court during the hearing, his head lowered and eyes sometimes closed.
He is accused of holding the women in his Cleveland home. He faces 329 counts, including one count of aggravated murder for allegedly causing the unlawful termination of a pregnancy.